Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Kung Fu comic book

Back in 1977 I was looking for some Martial Arts books in a Used Book Store in Scranton, Pa.  There was no Ebay in those days and few books at that time, many important finds were gotten that way. This was one of those books, perhaps one of the first books in English on the Chinese Martial Arts.


As it the case a book requires 5 or often more years before I understand it’s value and this was no exception.  Burried on my book shelf for a long time, I finally started viewing it again bout 1990 or so. And of course I discovered it’s value. Especially as a counter for an arm bar, in the example I show below. A solid use for one of my tai chi movements.


The book uses similar illustrations, then this is a joke for friends who feel our best techniques come from comic books.


Here is the description:


Pa-Kua Chang for Self-Defense Paperback – published January 1, 1973



This is a classic in the martial arts field, the first Bagua style Kung Fu book in English. Lee Ying Arng, the vice president of the Hong Kong Kung Fu Association, was a pioneer. His was one of the first Kung Fu books ever in English, the first Iron Palm book, the first film strips (8mm in those days) to be available. His modified Yang style Tai Chi - almost completey ignored - is one of the best abstractions of the set ever done. Here is a BaGua book that is not only informative but charming. In the first section it presents the basic palm positions, gives an historical overview with pictures of famous masters, shows Lee himself doing applications. The next section if a trasnlation into English of a famous text by Yen Tie Hwa showing some of the neatest illustrations ever of Chinese fighting applications. The usage is Ba Gua to the max with some pretty twisty renditions but all fascinating. A bibliography is enclosed.


This is one illustration.


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